Government consultation on conversion therapy – statement from Transgender Trend

The government consultation on conversion therapy has been published today. It is vital that everyone concerned about the ‘transition’ of children responds to this consultation to express their views. The deadline is 10th December 2021.

The government has produced a set of proposals in good faith in an attempt to protect everybody. But the language is not clear and there is too much room for confusion – not a good thing in government legislation.

The consultation shows the problems when ‘gender identity’ is added to ‘sexual orientation’ in a ban, when they are two completely different things. It is impossible to force them to co-exist in a blanket ban as if they are the same.

The government has been pressured into the impossible task of legislating on banning conversion therapy regarding something which is a subjective, contested concept and not defined in law.

Although, as the Times reports, the proposed bill may impact on organisations such as Mermaids, it could also affect parents who are honest with their children that you can’t change sex. The proposals attempt to protect ‘both ways.’

Unless the bill builds in specific protections for parents, therapists, GP’s, teachers, social workers etc. and specifically includes examples of what is NOT conversion therapy, it will leave many people afraid of how to treat a gender dysphoric child.

This will put children at risk. Protection and safeguarding of vulnerable young people – such as Keira Bell – must be the priority in a government ban on conversion therapy and this needs to be explicit.

If the government doesn’t get this right, it will be gay and lesbian young people who are most put at risk of ‘conversion therapy’ through medical transition. That would be a disastrous unintended consequence.

Statement available as a pdf here

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Fiona

    How do you respond to the consultation? I don’t see any respond button.

  2. Ute Heggen

    As the ex wife of a Trans Identified man, and thirty years past the discovery of his cross -dressing activities, while I stayed home, nursing our infant and caring for his older brother, aged 3, I attest to the non-science of this diagnosis, going back decades. My then-husband’s diagnosis was proclaimed by a non-professional with no credentials. The surgeons at Stanford University Medical School took this recommendation, and performed the “sex change” surgery, as it was called then, and he came back with a name change letter signed by the surgeon. My husband expressed, at various times, and for lengthy periods, that this original diagnosis, by this unqualified individual, was wrong and incorrect. Later in court, in a sworn affidavit, he claimed that my rejection of him and the legal separation were the causes for his distress and decision to have the surgeries. This diagnosis has no basis in valid science. Ute Heggen

  3. Andrea

    I know several people who would be very eager to complete this consultation. However, not everyone is familiar with this sort of exercise and may not be confident in doing this without some form of guidance. Is there any way you could publish some advice, perhaps indicating if all or only part of the consultation needs to be completed? Also outlining how to answer each question clearly in order that the precise meaning is understood? It would be really helpful.

    1. Transgender Trend

      Yes, we will be publishing a guide to responding to the consultation.

  4. charles lewis

    TT, please give us a short list (or not so short) of what we should say on the consultation website.

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